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Living Costs

When working out a budget, please remember to factor in essential costs such as accommodation; local travel; food; phone and utility bills (though these last three are often included in accommodation costs if you choose to live in catered halls of residence) and money for going out. Bear in mind that all the figures quoted here are approximate, and the cost of living will depend very much on your location and lifestyle (particularly accommodation) choices.

Please check the university websites carefully for more detailed cost breakdowns, including student accommodation costs. Remember that a university will usually only give the cost of living for the academic year (typically between 38 and 40 weeks) so if you want to stay on at university over the holidays, you’ll need to budget extra. If you’d like advice or information about the estimated cost of living at any particular university, then speak to one of our student advisors.

An overall guide

Australian universities recommend that international students budget between AU$22,000 and AU$35,000 per year for living expenses. Some cities are more expensive to live in than others.

According to NZ universities, you will need to budget around NZ$20,000 (South Island) and NZ$20,000 – $27,000 (North Island) per academic year for living expenses, depending where you live.

Australian and New Zealand student visas allow you to work part time, which for many students is an essential way of helping out with living costs. Please bear in mind, however, that part time jobs do not usually bring in enough money to contribute toward tuition fees. You will be allowed to work full time during holidays, provided your course meets Immigration requirements.

Long distance travel and other adventures!

Studying on the other side of the world does mean that you will have to travel a very long way to get to university, and the cost of multiple flights can easily add up over time. Some students are happy to stay away from home for the entire duration of their studies, but if you think you want a trip home to see the family and friends at any point, it’s worth planning ahead and booking early. The price and availability of flights varies dramatically at different times of the year. The Study Options team travel back and forth to Australia and New Zealand regularly, so if you need some flight booking tips just ask!

Last but not least when you are planning your budget, don’t forget that as well as studying hard and getting a great qualification, you will be living in Australia or New Zealand and you should make the most of it! If you’ve always wanted to dive the Great Barrier Reef or take a helicopter ride over the Fox Glacier, then what better opportunity is there? It’s easy to find out how much these type of activities are, both the Lonely Planet and Rough Guides have some top tips for travel in either country.